It has been going off for five days now, going on six, the house alarm somewhere on the 3300 block of Norman Bridge, a whoop-whoop-whoop-whoop sound that carries through the humidity like a ribbon, surfacing every now and then amid the otherwise soothing sounds of the jazz I’m playing in the living room, polluting my Charlie Parker and upending my Stan Getz. It is of a piece with the power outages we’ve had at least twice a day all week (“squirrels” says our neighbor, who says he unplugs everything in his house before he goes to work – we know from other communications that he frequently circles back to check the windows and doors after leaving in the morning if he sees a “suspicious character” on the street).
Whoop, whoop, whoop, whoop. We haven’t had a good night’s sleep since Sunday, when all this started – I think it infects our dreams, triggers tossing and turning somehow even though it’s so faint in the bedroom that it’s almost drowned out by the noise of the ceiling fan. Whoop, whoop, whoop, whoop.
I called the police on Tuesday, finally. That was Day 3. I think I was the first person to call, though I don’t see how that can be so, and if it is so, it explains so much more about life in Montgomery than this humble blog can ever hope to. The enthusiastic officer arrived to chat, and I stepped outside, saying (by way of introduction) “Can you hear that?” He said he couldn’t, took a little reflexive step back as if identifying me with the tinfoil hat people, the Taos Hum people. I took him to the back yard, where it is easily heard. Whoop whoop whoop whoop. He went to investigate, and came back shortly thereafter with the news that “the lady who owns the house is in Michigan and is trying to get someone to fix it.” Also he said that “it seems to be running out of steam, so maybe it’ll just shut off on its own.”
This was not encouraging news. People get shot in Los Angeles for lesser transgressions, and sued, or both. But here in Montgomery it is almost Day Six of The Alarm and it shows no signs of stopping. The power keeps going out, but the alarm continues. How is that possible?
Whoop whoop whoop whoop.